Monastic Life

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The Buddhist community includes monastics and lay people. Both are necessary for the preservation of Buddhism. However, monastics choose a life of vowed simplicity, a life directly related to the preservation and dissemination of the Dharma to benefit others. They are the core of that lifestyle that all Buddhist practitioners are committed to. In the articles here, Venerable Chodron shares with us the joys and difficulties of being a nun and the special challenges of being a Western Buddhist nun. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama notes, all Buddhist nuns have a unique role to play in the evolution of Buddhism where the universal principle of the equality of all human beings takes precedence. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be a monastic, you'll find these articles intriguing and stimulating.

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Similarities and Differences among the Various Buddhist Traditions

by Venerable Thubten Chodron©
translated into Tibetan by Geshe Damdul
Drepung Loseling School, Mundgod
20 Nov 2001

When Ven. Chodron was visiting her teachers at Ganden and Drepung Monasteries in Mundgod, South India in Nov 2001, she was invited by Geshe Damdul, Principal of the monastic school at Drepung Loseling Monastery, to give a talk to the monks there. She was asked to talk about the similarities and differences among the various Buddhist traditions, with particular reference to what the sangha of the Tibetan tradition can learn from the other traditions. Among the topics discussed were the similarities and differences in the robes of the sangha, the way they practice, how they get food, as well as proper dress, hair length and deportment of the sangha and the issue of vegetarianism. Geshe Damdul translated the talk into Tibetan for the monks.

Geshela also requested Ven. Chodron to talk about her latest project: Sravasti Abbey at Liberation Park, which Ven. mentioned in the last part of the talk.

[RealAudio files]

Introduction by Geshe Damdul
[7 minutes] : Download | Listen

Similarities and Differences among the various Buddhist traditions, Part I : [17 minutes] : Download | Listen

Part II [16 minutes] : Download | Listen

Part III [18 minutes] : Download | Listen

About Sravasti Abbey at Liberation Park (now called Sravasti Abbey) [6 minutes] : Download | Listen

Question & Answer session [26 minutes] : Download | Listen

Questions covered (Start-time for each question is indicated at the end) :

  • Has the location of Sravasti Abbey been identified? 0:49
  • About the colour of the robes. 3:11
  • About eating meat. 5:23
  • Does the Theravada tradition talk about the 9 stages in the cultivation of calm abiding? 12:53
  • What do you say when people ask you why the Tibetan sangha members in general eat meat? 17:59
  • Martial Arts & Buddhism. 20:46
  • About the Tulku system. 24:27

Concluding Remarks by Ven. and Geshela
[5 minutes] : Download | Listen


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